Students at a school in Dickson County, Tennessee are gaining press attention over how they dress.
The dress code at Dickson County High School says “all students must wear a collared and/or crew neck top with sleeves.” According to the dress code rules online, in addition to strict rules about what tops to wear, there are equally strict punishments – offenders spend the “remainder of the day” in in-school suspension. However, in an article published by a local news network, students may return to class once they have changed clothes.
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One high school senior, Tori Taylor showed up to school with a seemingly innocuous pink crew neck top with quarter-length sleeves. After she arrived, she was yanked out of class for wearing the “wrong” type of crew neck shirt.
To News Channel 5 Network, Taylor says she was told that “it wasn’t the right type of crew neck top.”
Unsure of what the “right type” of crew neck was, Taylor took to Twitter with a picture of the offending top with the caption, “please tell me what’s wrong with this????” She followed up her initial “wrong” crew with another outfit that violated the dress code – a white crew neck shirt with a floral print top over it.
Other students agreed with Taylor and started sharing their own dress code infractions, and frustrations with the school’s militant dress code.
“I spent a lot of money on my school clothes for my senior year,” said Taylor to New Channel 5. “I can’t afford to buy a new set of school clothes just to question if it will be ok.”
Taylor continued with: “I just feel it needs to be explained better. They need to do a better job presenting it to us.”
In an emailed statement, the principal of the school defended their strict dressing guidelines, and how far they go to ensure all students understand the policy:
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“Dickson County High School is proud to build good relationships with students, parents, and our community. We have a great school and we strive every day to keep it that way. The purpose of our dress code is to assure students will dress and groom in a clean, neat, and modest manner in order not to distract or interfere with the educational environment of the school. For the most part, 99 percent of our students have come to school within our dress code guidelines. As a reminder, we have communicated with students, parents, and community our dress code expectations for this school year.”
Though, as some have pointed out, if the goal is to not distract or interfere with education, pulling children out of class is not the way to go about it.